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06.21.2006

Yoda Backpack

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"Keep Your Things Safe It Will" -- so says the endorsement for this lovely new accessory offered by ThinkGeek, the same crazy dudes who'll also sell you licensed collectible Star Wars lightsabers. Because nothing says sexy better than dressing up like your favorite Sci-Fi character or running around with Master Yoda on your back. Though fully functional like a real backpack, with room for books and adjustable straps, take a tip from the ladies and stay away or at least hide it for only your most geeky guy moments. Unless of course you find that very special girl whose definition of 'hunky' includes soda gut and the ability to recite verbatim the Jedi Code.

Previously blogged by OhGizmo!

Posted by Katherine    Category: accessories | toys | wearables
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06.20.2006

Flying just got better with Nintendo DS Lite

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. . . but – for the time being -- only if you are flying with Japan Airlines JAL and in either executive or first class.
The Japanese airline company has announced that throughout August it will provide their executives and first class travelers with a Nintendo DS Lite (yes, yes the really nice looking one) and several top titles to choose from during the flight. The handheld consoles have been altered to turn off their wireless capabilities, and their use won’t be allowed during take off and landing.

You can check JAL site for Nintendo DS equipped flights.

Via Yahoo! Games

Posted by Camilla    Category: toys
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06.20.2006

High Voltage bag carries my electricals

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Recycling can be more than just melting down a broken Emco chair to make an Alessi teapot. Sometimes all you need to do is throw a little ribbon and some love on an old piece in order to make it better than new again. We’ve covered the new jewelry from old computing pieces offered by FractalSpin more than once, and geek fashion is always going to be too cool for school.

This High Voltage Messenger Bag from FractalSpin is a hot little way to cart around all your little battery vampires. It may have started out as the standard super durable olive drab military issued bag, but they’ve rejuvenated their stock with a thorough cleaning and a snappy warning of just how dangerously electrifying a personality can be. The interior is chock full of pockets, and the old mechanical clips are perfectly repurposed as iPod and cell phone holders. There’s even an easy access chain on the side to keep your keys close at hand.

Thanks to those crazy kids at Gadget Madness for reminding me to write this up.

Posted by Johnny    Category: accessories
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06.20.2006

Will Return Clock

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Do you want to annoy other people and mess with their heads? Then check out the Will Return Clock. It's all in good fun of course, but with a design that closely mimics the "Will Return" sign of many businesses, its easy to see how people might be confused. It's a real clock, so you can set it ahead by fifteen minutes and keep people perpetually waiting for your ETA.

Posted by Katherine    Category: devices
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06.19.2006

New to the Pop crew: Johnny Brookheart

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Several new writers will be introduced this week, though by now you already know them by their recent posts on Popgadget. Zachary "Johnny" Brookheart (aka Johnny Rock and Roll), who hails from St. Louis, joined our writing team last month, adding his unique voice to the mix as well as another very interesting name.

In real space, you can find Johnny bartending by night and studying economics by day (and night). His diverse, past careers include stints as a watermelon packer, human dishwasher, and ... oh yeah, tech writer for ArsTechnica. For Popgadget, he mainly covers electronics, tech news, and furniture design.

Posted by Hoyun    Category: current affairs
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06.19.2006

Moto Q versus RIM Blackberry 7130c

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For those of you who have not heard about it already, Cingular Wireless and RIM unveiled the new Blackberry 7130c smartphone recently, a week following the release of the Motorola Q. Nearly six months after it was supposed to hit the market, the Moto Q’s much hyped CDMA launch happened in the last week of May.

As I attempt the daunting task of outlining a fair (and concise) comparison of the two, the first aspect that comes up is Moto Q’s sleek form factor. At 0.45 inches and claiming to be the world’s thinnest, lightest QWERTY phone, it couldn’t get much better. The Moto Q is extremely thin and fits very comfortably in the palm of your hand. The Blackberry 7130c isn’t so bad either, but it doesn’t score any brownie points in this category as it is quite similar to the rest of the 7100 series, offering a cell-phone-like form factor and a SureType keyboard that may not appeal to users of the traditional QWERTY layout.

Priced at US$199 with two-year activation and qualifying plan, and $419 full retail price, some of the major highlights of the Moto Q that create a tilt in its favour are :

• Sleek 2.4-inch QVGA 320x240 display
• Excellent phone quality and text/email functions
• Superior video and voice quality
• Jog dial
• Mini SD expansion slot

The quad-band 7130c, priced at $199.99 with a two-year contract, attempts to beat that with the following highlights :

• Sharp 240x260, 65,000-color screen.
• Powered by Cingular’s nationwide EDGE network that allows usage as a wireless modem for a laptop or PC.
• Bluetooth wireless technology for hands-free connectivity and car kit support
• Noticeably faster Web browsing, application performance and attachment viewing

For most users, perhaps the most significant drawback of the Moto Q is the absence of push email ability without using SMS or a third-party client. The Blackberry conveniently scores here as Cingular’s BlackBerry Internet Service provides push email to the handset. However, for me personally, the absence of integrated push email facility is not really vital, as I am not a keen instant email user. The other drawback with the Moto Q is that there is no possibility of using the device as an EV-DO modem for a PC, which could be rather disappointing.

Overall, however, my first impressions of the Motorola Q place it a notch higher than the Blackberry 7130c. This time around, Motorola seems to have got it right, and this phone has potential as a Blackberry killer. Check out the CNET reviews site for updates.

Posted by kanchana    Category: devices
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06.19.2006

PQI card drive

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Credit cards are the bane of my existence. Endlessly tempting, with their attractive designs, promises of free money, and to top it all off, a little holographic image of a dove, a globe or something else as universally dramatic, credit cards seem to be a problem for everyone. Here's one card, though, that you shouldn't feel guilty about using - PQI's ultra-slim card drive. Just 3mm thin and housed in aluminium casing, the card drive can be connected to any Windows or Mac computer to store up to 8GB of your data. The card also features software that stores your favourite web bookmarks, as well as your email contacts.

Available in four different storage sizes (1GB, 2GB, 4GB and 8GB), the card drive can be bought from Eupac for £29.60, £38.60, £71.60 and £109.90 (ex. VAT) respectively.

Posted by Stuart    Category: devices
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06.19.2006

Monty Python Toys

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True fandom can't exist without product to fixate on. For example, take a look at the collection of toys, plushies, and paraphernalia based on the now classic comedy of Monty Python. True genius stands the test of time, but everything can be helped with a little marketing! Now you can be a Knight of Ni, or paddle around in your own Rabbit With Pointy Teeth Slippers. Because even if you can't appreciate the nuances of a Black Knight mini-plush, you can still cop a little cool out of owning one, right?

Posted by Katherine    Category: toys | wearables
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06.19.2006

Disney launches family mobile phone service

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Disney launched its “family mobile phone service” in the United States last Tuesday. This service aims to regulate mobile phone usage by children. With this, parents will be able to choose when, how long and to whom their children talk on their cell phones.

An extract from this report on CNET News:

Disney Mobile, which is carried in the United States by Sprint Nextel, also blocks kids from using their phones until they respond to messages that parents have flagged as urgent, and has a built-in satellite tracking feature to locate the cell phone.

Individual service plans for a single line start at $39.99 per month up to $169.99 per month.

Family plans, which include a minimum of two lines, range from $159.99 per month to $249.99 per month.

Handsets start at $59.99 with a two-year service agreement.

While I would certainly feel safer knowing that I can “track” my children at any time of the day, it would also be fairly easy for parents to get unreasonably addicted to such technology over a long term. Makes me wonder how much “regulation” is really okay when it comes to parents and kids. I guess a fine balance, however, is hard to pin down - as always.

Posted by kanchana    Category: home
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06.17.2006

New to the Pop crew: Maggie Chang

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Hello to Maggie, who joined our writing team a few weeks ago because she craved an outlet for her gadget and toy obsession. It's a good thing she lives in Hong Kong, the dreamland of consumer tech.

Maggie caught our attention by letting us know that Popgadget is her home page, but of course we brought her on board for her writing skills, and her oddball take on oddball things. She writes about devices, toys and accessories, and whatever else grabs her attention as she roams the crazy marketplaces of Hong Kong . Before moving there, Maggie lived in Hawaii and worked in tech marketing. She now teaches English.

Next month, Maggie will be blogging from the Hong Kong Houseware/Toy show where she'll bring us glimpses of the newest geek toys and home gadgets.

Posted by Hoyun    Category: current affairs
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